Correspondance de P.-J. Proudhon; (1875)Tome Deuxiéme Librairie Internationale; Paris.pgs. 62-63
To Mr. Bergmann
September 29, 1842
My dear Bergmann, I will not attend the ceremonies of congress. I have saved a little bit of money to provide me with this pleasure; the failure of a commercial treaty has depleted my resources. But the monetary defeat is the least of my troubles; a workroom I cannot quit for a second, tests to read, a manuscript to produce, and the quick passage of time that continually surprises me, do not allow me to allow me to keep any time for pleasure and friendship. You can complain to me but you cannot blame me for this difficult time, for which I apologize.
I have finished polishing off my new publication. You will find in it, placed under the protection of your name, the piece that I was going to present to MM and the scholars of Strasbourg: it is entitled Metaphysics. Do not let this word produce in you a hostile reaction. Under a name which up until now explains nothing, I gave the theory of universal law; in a word, I added a fourth tome to the following series: geometry, arithmetic, algebra. This is nothing other than a new science, from which I expect a radical revolution in that which is called philosophy, as my ideas on property demand a radical revolution in jurisprudence. (You feel that I am placing myself here, as I must, outside of the immediate application, where I have no mission.)
In very little time, you will receive a copy of the inscription I want to make to you in this chapter. I hope to keep the personal manner that we use to address one another, unless you feel that that would be of poor taste. Let me know what you think.
There is one more question put forth in the congresses prospectus that interests me: Why a neutral plural noun, in Greek, is used with a singular verb. Please teach me why, as I would greatly appreciate it.
I received, a long time ago, a letter from Ackermann I forgot that this letter was sent to me in yours. He speaks to me about his loves: the person he talks about is the most celestial that he has ever seen; he attests a devotion to her that would transform itself into martyrdom. It appears that up until now our friend has only known warmth and tenderness. I learned through Maguet that Ackermann is beginning to feel at home; after the relationship in Haag, which has also just produced a rich marriage, Ackermann is looking at from 3 to 4,000 franks. With that in mind, I understand why one would be in love, and why desire pushes you towards founding a family.
I have decided to dismantle my printing press at all costs; I am waiting to finish my book and the laborers will start.
It is once again a question of finding a small job on the side; that depends on the prefecture; I have no idea how this will all work out.
I send my strongest affection from the bottom of my heart, and beg of you to send me something from you.